Long-term residential care in Ireland: Developments since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic

This report has been peer reviewed prior to publication. The authors are solely responsible for the content and the views expressed.

January 9, 2024
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Long-term residential care (LTRC) is a key component of health and social care in Ireland. Prior to the pandemic, over 32,000 people used LTRC. As the population grows, especially at older ages, the importance of a LTRC sector that meets the needs of the population increases. The COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the LTRC sector in Ireland and internationally. LTRC residents saw high rates of COVID-19 infection and disproportionately high rates of deaths from COVID-19. At the same time, the pandemic also presented a number of challengesfor LTRC workers, operators and regulators. These challenges may inhibit the sustainability of the sector.

The aim of this report is to examine how COVID-19 impacted the LTRC sector, and the changes in the sector that occurred since the onset of the pandemic. This report is one of a number of outputs from a Research Collaborative in Quality and Patient Safety (RCQPS) funded project1 that examines LTRC and COVID-19 in Ireland. The report will set the scene for later work which seeks to provide recommendations to help ensure the sustainability of the LTRC sector in the medium term.